Review by Alex on May 5, 2019.
Poland’s blackened thrashing force return with a fierce and forthright record that touches critical periods in time that carried the weight of The Inquisition and The Black Death Plague. Warfist summons Grünberger, the 3rd full-length record to dawn upon the masses eager to roll-around in old tales of atrocity. Don’t look for innovation cause there’s none here to be found; expect fairly candid black/thrash metal from this newest effort.
The march starts-off on the left foot with “Black Army”, a track that points the listener in the direction Grünberger will be traversing. Utilizing the acoustic guitar to set a melancholic tone that prepares you for the typical blasting we all know thrash metal for having and is lauded by guitar soloing and strong leads that are the backbone and the primary selling point of the better songs on Grünberger. The drumming here goes through some amount of tempo changes and levels of versatility when an interval from the speedy stick bashing is needed. This blueprint could have been exploited for the songs to follow. Though the groovy delicacy of “Feasting on Dead Bodies” plays with somber-esque vestiges, they become overwhelmed by monotone thrashing, thus one is left searching for such moments on the record that are very scantily placed. Half-way through the playtime of Grünberger, you’ve heard most of Warfist’s MO, not implying boredom sets in, but you get a full peripheral view of what is to come from the remaining proceedings. Considering the heaviness of the themes, more advantage could have been taken to render a better musical representation. If the musicianship heard on “Feasting on Dead Bodies” and “March of Death” (another exceptional track) had been used as guidelines on other songs, Grünberger would have been a better instrumentally and lyrically aligned record, in turn boosting its replay-value.
Grünberger has a clean production that could have been capitalized on for a greater memorable experience. Besides the already mentioned tracks nothing else stands out as possessing much instrumental depth. Already pushing the length in being a 37-minute journey, any longer and Grünberger would have suffered extensively from boredom. However, there’s just enough to get you to the finish line without feeling irreversibly exhausted. Thus said, the second half of Grünberger has better organized compositions than that of the first half. Tracks here bare a conscious tone, in so preventing the theme and music from feeling disconnected. “Death by the Cleansing Fire” and “Atrocious Savior” make better use of the speed metal and black metal virtues to stir-up an atmosphere of panic and tyranny, as one would imagine existed during the era of The Inquisition.
The vocals on the previously mentioned tracks and throughout Grünberger are as ravishing as one would expect to hear from a black/thrash metal band. Being exclaimed in an angry tone, the listener is immediately made aware of the merciless nature of the events that were perpetrated. That raw edge the vocals contain adds a passionate touch to the record, one that matches the combined expression of the drumming and guitar work.
All-together as a full-length record, Warfist does just enough on Grünberger to provide the listener with something that is worthwhile a 2nd or 3rd spin. Grünberger is not a bad record, it just does little in crossing the standard bar for black/thrash metal.
Rating: 6.8 out of 10